So it snowed again last weekend, and I had to shovel twice before it all melted on Monday. Then yesterday I walked outside and there were flurries in the air. It’s supposed to warm up in the next few days, but then they’re predicting another couple of inches of snow this coming weekend.
Even those of us who say they don’t mind Minnesota winters have had it. We are shaking our fists skyward, bemoaning the futility of it all. Or we are eating chocolate.
Or we are skating, thinking that even if the weather were nicer, we’d be inside anyway.
Okay, so it’s still winter in mid-April here. But at least several good things are going on with my skating. One began with the head weight idea, which I’ve been trying to work into all aspects of my waking life, including as I sit here now at the computer. I have now seen way too many pictures of bad head posture that results in inevitable doom (just google “bad head posture” and you’ll see what I mean). Anyway, I have been working on moving the weight of my head slightly back using my entire upper back and neck (rather than just trying to roll my head back, which did not work). And this seems to be working well not only to align my upper body, but also to place me in a better position overall.
I have better control over my edges. I’m bending my ankles more. And I am even able to relax my often too-tight hip flexors on command, meaning that I can finally sorta get that “flat front of hip” position that both Ari and Laurie have been telling me about. I was beginning to think that was some kind of strange genetic predisposition only granted to those with true talent and ability. But no, I can do it too!
It is not quite the dawn of a new skating day, since yesterday I was working on back cross rolls and had one of those falls that made everyone sympathetic in that way that they only behave when you are over 50. My coach Laurie even texted me later to make sure I didn’t have a concussion.
So okay, ouch. But at least my hip flexors were relaxed! And I was back on today, a little bruised but not too bad.
So here’s a little inspiration: not quite skating, but also balanced on the perfect blend of movement and stillness, gravity/force/momentum
- inside three, cross in front, step forward and repeat on other side. Left side is better, but the right needs more foot/ankle action and more actual curve/turn.
- forward three, change edge, back three, forward three. Place free foot forward before the back three so you can use it to create more rotational energy.
- back choctaw, forward choctaw. Work on not pushing forward into the new edge. Make sure you are really using your ankles on those edges–no pretend edges!
- rockers. Work on getting stronger edges coming out of the rocker.
- counters. These are confusing, since they are sort of like brackets.
- progressives in a circle. These are better! But make sure there is not an abrupt jerk when you push from the inside edge.
- back chassés in a circle. This is to get the rise on the back outside edge.
- forward three, back outside edge. Think about your ear staying inside the circle to correct that slight lean out.
- back cross rolls. We worked on getting that real push. Then I fell. Ouch.